18 September 2023

Movember and Male Mental Health: Now is the time to act.

Movember is the annual reminder that men’s health – or more accurately, discussion around how men manage their health – is something that still needs prompting, especially with regards to mental health. 

As we navigate an era of uncertainty, a phrase that has perhaps defines our current pressures is “the cost-of-living-crisis”.  This inescapable phrase and its day-to-day reality are having a very real impact on mental health, and there is an urgent need to discuss the decisions that men are making in the face of these economic pressures.

While the cost-of-living crisis affects us all, for many men there is an added layer around perceived gender roles that is feeding heightened levels of stress, anxiety and depression. The traditional male breadwinner image, although less often spoken about explicitly, is still a potent force that shapes behaviours.  For many men, accomplishment as an individual is often tied to monetary success and providing for others[i]. The cost-of-living crisis and wider economic downturn has reduced job and financial security, in turn undermining individual sense of worth and detrimentally impacted male mental health. 

Men in general are less likely than women to ask for help with their mental health[ii] and this pattern is repeated in the face of financial stress and the anxieties they provoke[iii], with many men choosing instead to “tough-out” the financial challenges they are face.  This is dangerous tactic as male mental health stats attest:

  • 40% of men have never spoken to someone about their mental health[iv]
  • 1 in 8 men suffer from depression or anxiety at any given time[v]
  • ¾ of suicides in the UK are male[vi]

Compounding this are the coping strategies that can define male response to mental health issues.  Men make up only 36% of those who seek professional support, choosing instead to manage alone.  This is problematic and can lead to destructive habits such as alcohol and drug abuse, both of which are much higher in men than women[vii].

In addition, hybrid working has led to reduced levels of professional interaction.  People who experience heightened levels of isolation and loneliness suffer higher levers of stress, anxiety and depression[viii], and this is just adding to the mental burden that many men are facing, often without the tools to cope.

It is therefore essential that we use this month to change the narrative around male mental health. Organisations have a duty of care for their workforce and the issue of supporting men in the face of mental health issues needs to be central to that.  Movember is the perfect opportunity to highlight these issues and provide options to support male staff, facilitate conversations around mental health and even help manage issues before they become crises.

At Wellbeing Partners, we offer group wellbeing workshops including ‘Men’s Mental Health’, ‘Taming the Tiger: Resilience for Men’, ‘Mindfulness for Men’ and ‘From Anxious to Calm’, as well as one-to-one counselling and wellbeing sessions that can help men talk about and manage their mental health.

[i] https://www.psychologytoday.com

[ii] [iii] https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/

[iv] https://www.priorygroup.com/

[v] https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/

[vi] https://www.ons.gov.uk/

[vii] https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/

[viii] https://www.cdc.gov/aging/publications/

Getting Started

ANXIETY – the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 15th to 21st May

If you’ve noticed that you’re more anxious recently, then you are not alone.  The last three years have seen a global rise in anxiety and anxiety disorders, and this is hardly surprising.  Our daily life has been infused with uncertainty, with the fallout of the pandemic, war in Europe, cost of living crisis and ongoing environmental issues all placing an endless strain on our resilience and resources.

For many, anxiety has begun to play a larger role in their lives.  The emotional side of anxiety – feelings of fear, sadness, frustration and isolation amongst others – increasingly shape our decisions, thought processes and emotional responses.  And the impact is not only personal, as it can spill over into our professional lives, affecting our ability to focus and work effectively.  The added pressure of struggling to meet our professional responsibilities can feed into and exacerbate the anxiety.

It is imperative, for our own mental wellbeing and for our ability to engage professionally, to find effective ways to reduce anxiety. But this can be both daunting and challenging. When we are anxious, our response is often to engage in a struggle with it, a struggle that includes various understandable but unsatisfactory responses such as distraction, suppression and denial.  This struggle can leave us feeling exhausted and even make the anxiety worse.

Although it may seem counter intuitive, to manage anxiety, we have to get to know it better, to understand what it is trying to tell us.  Psychologist Prof. Mark Williams argues that we must “befriend our anxiety”, seeing it not as the enemy to defeat, but something that wants attention, to be cared for.  This approach can give us back a sense of agency and control in the face of the overwhelm that anxiety brings with it.

Managing anxiety can be challenging so getting professional support is a good step. Counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy are all clinically proven ways of managing and reducing anxiety. With professional support we can discover how to relate differently to the emotions, sensations and thoughts that shape and sustain our anxiety. We can learn how to ride out the waves of anxiety rather than be pulled under by them, and over time we learn to develop the resilience we need to calm down more easily from anxiety.

These three tips can help you begin your journey of facing anxiety and flourishing.

1. Talk: Anxiety can make us feel isolated, creating the sort of social and behavioural retreat that deepens the experience of anxiety. Communicating about how you are feeling, particularly the emotions that are triggering the anxiety such as fear, anger, frustration, shame, guilt, confusion etc, can often help us to “contain” the anxiety more easily. If you have a friend or loved one who is a good listener, they could be a helpful person to talk to. Professional support is also really helpful – Try your organisation’s counselling support service.

2. Thoughts are not facts: Anxiety is often fuelled by negative thoughts like “catastrophising” or abusive self-talk – thoughts that can keep us locked into mental scenarios that serve only to make us feel worse. If we can take a mental step back and see our thoughts as just opinions rather than facts, it can help us be less caught up in the thought processes that sustain our anxiety. A professional can help you to understand how your thoughts might be triggering your anxiety, and teach you to relate to your thoughts in a less alarming way.

3. The breath is your ally: When anxiety strikes, we can feel overwhelmed.  A simple tip to slow the “stress response” is to consciously focus full attention on the breath. Concentrate your breath on the area of your body where you feel the anxiety most intensely (eg chest, belly, shoulders) and for a few moments, purposely slow and deepen both the in breath and the out breath. Doing so stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, sending a “stand-down” signal to the alert centre of the brain!

Anxiety workshops, courses and sessions for your employees:

From Anxious to Calm workshop – 60 minute group workshop

Mindfulness for Anxiety workshop – 60 minute group workshop

Facing Anxiety and Flourishing course – 4 x 60 minute group course

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy course – 8 x 60 minute group course

Confidential One to One Counselling – Anxiety counselling with our specialist mental health therapists

Book us to run an anxiety workshop, course or session

If you’d like to book us to run a workshop, course or session please enter your details below or contact us for more information.

22 November 2022

Dramatic Increase in Men Accessing Counselling Services: Workplace figures
particularly promising.

  • November’s awareness day place particular influence on male mental health
  • Encouraging figures see dramatic upswing in men accessing counselling services
  • Particularly important at a time when nearly 10 million people in the UK require mental health support
  • Men still more likely than women to die from suicide and resort to damaging coping mechanisms for mental health issues
  • Dedicated workplace counselling increases chances of men engaging with support offered

During November, Movember and International Men’s Day help raise awareness of the important topic of male mental health, with an emphasis on getting more men to access mental health support.

And latest figures suggest that there is reason for optimism.  Whereas the narrative around male mental health is traditionally driven by themes of avoidance and denial, we have seen a dramatic increase in the numbers of men accessing counselling, and this could not have come at a more important time.

The Quality Care Commission highlights that up to 10 million people in the UK require mental health support[i]. There are currently 1.2 million people are on waiting lists for NHS support[ii] and it is struggling to cope.  For male mental health these stats are particularly problematic.  Men still make up ¾ of suicide deaths in the UK[iii], are more likely to abuse alcohol and recreational drugs as coping mechanisms[iv] and are more likely to go missing.    

Therefore the provision of expert counselling is essential, particularly in the workplace where the demands and stresses can add to, trigger or exacerbate mental health issues.

And there is evidence that men feel more comfortable opening up in a mental health setting.  The BACP reports that the number of men accessing counselling has risen from 18% to 27% in a decade[v]. At Wellbeing Partners, we have found an even greater upswing in male counselling participation, with 45% of our workplace counselling sessions now being accessed by men.

For businesses to ensure that their male employees access the mental health support services being offered, they should ask themselves two questions.

Firstly, how easy is it for staff to access these services?  It is more likely that people will take up these provisions if it is a straightforward process, ideally a one-step procedure that makes it simple to book a session with a counsellor.

Secondly, does our process focus on encouraging employees to discuss challenge and difficulties rather than just crises?  Ideally the counselling support on offer will be focused on a wider sense of mental wellbeing, allowing for the processing of challenges and difficulties in a timely manner so they do not develop into more serious issues.

Lou Campbell, counsellor and programmes director of Wellbeing Partners explains:

“The emphasis is proactive wellness, processing difficulties before they become a crisis and normalising this as part of the workplace culture. This emphasis helps people engage earlier and helps remove the perceived stigma amongst some men about accessing mental health support”.

Managers too have an important role to play in ensuring this support is seen as part of a healthy working culture and taken up by employees.  Encouragement is invaluable for staff who might be unsure around asking for mental health support.

Campbell adds:

“An essential component of mental health training in the workplace is focusing on training managers to be able to notice signs of employees needing support and having the skills necessary to signpost them onward to that support”.

Our actions, as managers, HR staff and colleagues, can help sustain this impressive upturn in men accessing mental health support.  If you would like more information on male mental health and how counselling can support your employees, please contact

[i] https://www.cqc.org.uk/publications/major-reports/soc202021_01d_mh-care-demand

[ii] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/nhs-mental-health-waiting-list-b2145432.html#



[iv] https://alcoholchange.org.uk/alcohol-facts/fact-sheets/alcohol-statistics



[v] https://www.bacp.co.uk/news/news-from-bacp/2022/16-june-mens-changing-attitude-to-mental-health-and-therapy/#:~:text=Men%20are%20also%20more%20likely,compared%20to%2027%25%20in%202022

1 November 2022

November Newsletter

November is here already – it seems to have snuck up on us!  As evenings draw in and temperatures drop, we can be forgiven for lamenting the loss of the sunny days and long evenings of summer. Indeed, many people experience a downturn in mood as the seasons change, with people feeling increasingly isolated, fed up, lethargic and as many as 2 million experiencing seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Perhaps reflecting this, November is replete with mental and physical health awareness days and there is a particular slant towards raising awareness of male mental health issues as we head into winter.

At Wellbeing Partners, we are committed to offering solutions to these issues, through workshops, courses, counselling and expert advice and we are excited about the opportunities to do this throughout November.

MOVEMBER 1st – 30th November: Using humour to confront serious issues is a brilliant way to engage people whilst raising awareness. Movemeber creates a humorous shared experience whilst bringing male mental health into daily conversation.  Globally, 60 men take their own lives every hour and 1 in 8 men have a mental health issue, but men are still statistically unlikely to seek help. Wellbeing Partners offers a broad range of sessions to support men’s health including ‘Men’s Health’, ‘Men’s Mental Health’, ‘Mindfulness for Men’ as well as expert counselling and one-to-one sessions.

International Stress Awareness Week 7th – 11th November: If left unchecked, heightened stress can trigger serious health issues, both mentally and physically, as well as affecting our performance and attendance in the workplace. International Stress Awareness week is an opportunity to reflect on stress levels and cultivate strategies to help us reduce them.  Stress management is a speciality of Wellbeing Partners and we have a variety of options available.  As well as our expert-led counselling sessions, we offer interactive workshops including ‘Managing Stress and Enhancing Resilience’, ‘Recover from Burnout’, ‘From Anxious to Calm’, ‘Facing Anxiety and Flourishing’, ‘Wellbeing in Hybrid Working, and ‘Back on Track: Cultivating a Positive Mindset’.

World Kindness Day 13th November: This annual awareness day is an opportunity for individuals, groups and organisations to consider our sense of shared humanity and to promote courses, workshops, behaviours and initiatives that spread kindness and connectivity. After two gruelling years of a pandemic and continued financial and global uncertainty, this is a perfect time to engage in behaviours that enhance kindness, boost mood and reduce stress.  Wellbeing Partners present such opportunities through the sessions ‘Kindness and Compassion’ and ‘Improving Connection and Belonging’.

World Diabetes Day 14th November: November is not just about mental health, but also raising awareness of physical health issues like diabetes. Globally, someone is diagnosed with type-2 diabetes every two-minutes and awareness of diet and lifestyle choices that affect the illness can help us avoid serious health issues later in life. Our expert nutritionists deliver engaging sessions that can help with this including ‘Reducing Sugar in your Diet’, ‘Ten Tips for Healthy Eating’ and ‘The Ultimate Detox’.

International Men’s Day 19th November: This annual awareness day is an opportunity to reflect on positive male role models and achievement whilst also addressing serious issues around male mental health. The year’s theme is ‘Better Relations between Men and Women’ and addressing mental health issues is an essential part of this as it gives men the skills required for emotional honesty and emotional intelligence, the bedrock of healthy relationships. We can help men explore their mental health issues through expert counselling and curated sessions on ‘Men’s Health’, ‘Men’s Mental Health’ as well as ‘Mindfulness for Men’.

If you would like more information on any of these sessions, please get in touch or enter your details below.

Getting Started

Enter your details below or call us on 020 3951 7685 to get started

Men’s Health Week – 13th to 19th June 2022

Men’s Health Week presents a terrific opportunity for employers to bring awareness to health issues that affect men disproportionately, and to encourage male employees to think more about their health and wellbeing.

Wellbeing Partners’ selection of relevant workshops include:

Men’s Health – presented by our award-winning men’s health educator and campaigner Peter Baker, this 60-minute live and interactive session encourages men to engage in discussion and learn about different aspects of physical and mental health that are most likely to impact men such as heart disease, prostate and other cancers, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction and other sexual health issues, diabetes, weight, alcohol and substance misuse, depression and more. The session promotes the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, providing simple, straightforward advice, and encourages men to think more about their wellbeing and access health services when required. (In-person or online)

Men’s Mental Health – presented by one our fully qualified counselling psychotherapists and men’s mental health specialists, this 60-minute live and interactive session focuses on removing stigma and shame around men discussing and seeking help for mental health issues, provides effective tips and techniques for how men can improve their mental health and wellbeing, and signposts men to the variety of support services they can access if required (including promoting services such as an EAP).

Mindfulness for Men – presented by our James Milford, our head of behavioural sciences and a fully qualified mindfulness-based cognitive therapist, this 60-minute live and interactive session offers your male employees an ideal opportunity to learn about the science behind mindfulness and to try a range of meditations as a highly effective form of DIY mental healthcare. Using evidence-based and scientifically proven mindfulness and meditation techniques to reduce stress and anxiety, overcome unhelpful thinking patterns, improve sleep and benefit overall health. (In-person or online)

One to One Wellbeing Sessions – our team of fully qualified wellbeing coaches include five male therapists, who we can make available to your employees during Men’s Health Week, or at any time of the year! These sessions offer tailored, confidential mental health and wellbeing support directly to your employees, including those who might be otherwise reluctant to access mental health support, based on their individual requirements. (In-person or online)

Employee Health Screening – Know Your Numbers – our team of registered occupational health nurses come to your workplace to provide employees with individual health checks onsite. Tests include cholesterol and blood sugar levels, blood pressure, waist:hip ratio & BMI; cardiovascular, discussion around alcohol consumption, exercise, smoking and diet, plus overall health. Each employee receives their personalised results in a graphical and easy to understand report, with signposting to specific health services where relevant. We also provide your organisation with an anonymous overview of the health of your employees, and a comparison with national average. (In-person)

Did you know?

Diabetes Week runs from the 8th to the 13th of June. Our fully qualified nutritional therapists present a range of relevant workshops such as ‘Sugar Awareness: Reducing Sugar from your Diet’ and ‘Nutrition and Healthy Eating’.

Healthy Eating Week runs from the 14th to the 20th of June and focuses on helping us be more aware of what foods we need to increase and avoid to balance our diet and eat more healthily. Our workshops include “Top 10 Tips for Healthy Eating’; ‘All about Breakfast’; as well as Cooking Demonstrations and ‘One-to-One Nutrition Sessions.

World Yoga Day is on the 21st of June, a day for fun and learning about all the different types of Yoga and its benefits. We offer 45 minute sessions in-person or online with our fully qualified yoga teachers. All welcome from beginners to intermediate level. Yoga mats are provided for in-house sessions.

Getting Started

Enter your details below or call us on 020 3951 7685 to get started

18 November 2021

Men’s Mental Health – an interview with Everton premier league footballer and England Under 21’s star Tom Davies

Today is International Men’s Day and we would like to use this opportunity to highlight the crisis in men’s mental health. Too many men are suffering in silence when it comes to anxiety, depression, trauma, intrusive thoughts, addiction, self harm, eating disorders, loneliness and more. 

Please take 10 minutes to watch the short interview between Everton FC’s Tom Davies and Wellbeing Partners’ Lou Campbell below and please share with the men and boys in your life – we all have mental health and sometimes we need help looking after it …

Navigating the New Normal

The New Normal offers us many challenges. The reality is that we are still living and working in an ongoing global pandemic.

With lockdown gradually lifting and organisations starting to plan a return to the workplace, a huge number of employees are anxious and uncertain about how to navigate the new normal. According to research:

  • 65% of people are anxious about returning to the workplace
  • 70% of people are anxious about using public transport

A very large number of people across the country are also concerned about returning to a frantic pace of life, are anxious about socialising after a long period of isolation, and many are worried about potential changes in social etiquette.

The good news is that there are many steps we can take to meet the varied challenges and flourish, both professionally and personally.  Our behavioural science team have created a one hour interactive workshop for employees called Navigating the New Normal:

  • Understanding the New Normal
  • Managing the Stress Response
  • How to Cope with:
    • Transport
    • Office / Workplace
    • Socialising
  • Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction
  • Techniques for reducing anxiety: Labelling and Grounding
  • Professional support
  • Self Care Action Plan
  • Communication Tips

For more information and to book the workshop for your employees, contact [email protected]


Our New Research Assistant Helen Dawet

We are delighted to welcome our new Research Assistant, Helen Dawet, to the Wellbeing Partners team!

Helen recently graduated from Brunel University London with a first class BSc in Psychology, where she developed a strong interest and talent for research and experimental projects around human behaviour, mindfulness, empathy and improving mental wellbeing through the whole-person health approach.

Wellbeing Partners has seen spectacular growth this year, with employee wellbeing at the top of the agenda for many organisations, and Helen will be providing research support to our team of over 50 specialist presenters and clinicians across the fields of employee mental health and wellbeing, behavioural science, mindfulness, physical wellbeing, nutritional health, functional medicine and occupational health.

Welcome to the team, Helen!

Mental Health in the Workplace

February 2016 – According to a new report on mental health of employees from Business in the Community, only a third of employees would admit to stress, anxiety or depression as the genuine reason for taking time off work, despite mental health issues being the leading cause of absenteeism and presenteeism in the workplace.

70 million days of work are lost each year across the UK due to workers suffering from stress, depression and other mental health issues. Silence on the issue from employees is both crippling for the individuals and increasingly costly for employers. The Centre for Mental Health calculates that absenteeism alone costs the UK economy £8.4 billion per annum.

Is it time for your company to consider a stress & anxiety management programme to reduce the burden of work-related stress issues in your workplace?

Even in companies where there is no clear indication of workplace stress or anxiety issues, we often come across employees who are suffering in silence from stress-related illness, using unhealthy coping strategies such as alcohol abuse, substance abuse, self harm and eating disorders. These lead to absenteeism and the resulting loss of productivity. With presenteeism also on the rise, employees are coming to work disengaged, tired, unmotivated and too stressed to work.

Wellbeing Partners Ltd provides an affordable range of stress and anxiety management services which offer both preventative and remedial care for your employees. From our very popular 45 minute workshops – Reducing Your Stress & Anxiety Workshop, the Introduction to Mindfulness Workshop – plus weekly 20-minute Mindfulness Sessions in your office, on-site Counselling & Psychotherapy for Individuals, Stress & Anxiety Management Sessions for Individuals, and Individual Mindfulness Tuition for Individuals. We also provide a full programme of Healthy Eating Workshops, Reducing Sugar From Your Diet Workshops, Fitness Instructors, Pilates, Yoga & Massage Services – all in your workplace.

A Confidential Company Stress Audit by an independent and highly qualified provider such as Wellbeing Partners can help you to understand the hidden emotional burden of stress, anxiety and mental health issues on your employees and the commensurate financial and productivity burden on your organisation.

Please email [email protected] or call Nick Winfield on 07773 767248 for more information and prices on our preventative and remedial stress & anxiety management services, mindfulness services, nutrition services and physical wellbeing services.

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